Perceptual-Cognitive Skills and Their Interaction as a Function of Task Constraints in Soccer

Roca, André and Ford, Paul R. and McRobert, Alistair P. and Williams, A. Mark (2013) Perceptual-Cognitive Skills and Their Interaction as a Function of Task Constraints in Soccer. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 35 (2). pp. 144-155. ISSN 0895-2779

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The ability to anticipate and to make decisions is crucial to skilled performance in many sports. We examined the role of, and interaction between, the different perceptual-cognitive skills underlying anticipation and decision making. Skilled and less skilled players interacted as a defender with life-size film sequences of 11 versus 11 soccer situations. Participants were presented with task conditions in which the ball was located in the participant’s offensive or defensive half of the pitch (far vs. near conditions). Participants’ eye movements and verbal reports of thinking were recorded across two experiments. Skilled players reported more accurate anticipation and decision making than less skilled players, with their superior performance being underpinned by differences in task-specific search behaviors and thought processes. Findings illustrate how skills and processes underpinning superior anticipation and decision making are shaped by the underlying situational task constraints, which have significant implications for those interested in capturing and enhancing perceptual-cognitive skill in sport and other domains.

Item Type: Journal Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Expertise and expert performance; Eye movements; Verbal reports; Situational task constraints
Subjects: 100 Philosophy & psychology > 152 Perception, movement, emotions & drives
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts; recreation > 796 Athletic & outdoor sports & games
School/Department: School of Sport, Health and Applied Science
Depositing User: Catherine O'Sullivan
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2013 09:43
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2015 16:19


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